Upon arriving in Cairo yesterday, Code Pink activist Medea Benjamin was arrested, imprisoned, brutalized, badly injured, and forcibly expelled from the country by Egyptian authorities. Benjamin was en route to Gaza, where she and other Code Pink activists had planned solidarity actions with Palestinians.
It appears that the al-Sisi regime thugs battered Benjamin under orders from Israel, the main force behind last summer’s coup d’état. The al-Sisi regime, which has slaughtered thousands of peaceful protestors all over the country and has resorted to wholesale detention and torture of tens of thousands more, has become the ugliest, most vicious, and most purely and unabashedly evil regime in the region, with the possible exception of al-Sisi’s Israeli paymasters in Tel Aviv.
Whereas democratically-elected President Morsi, who is still the legitimate head of state, had taken steps to open the Gaza border, the treasonous Moroccan-Jewish Zionist usurper al-Sisi is running Egypt as an Israeli-occupied territory. His first priority: Starving Gaza.
I just spoke to Alli McCracken of Code Pink, who was being bombarded by media calls. Here is what she told me:
“Basically, Medea was detained by Egyptian border police, held overnight in a cell, and then got beat up by Egyptian authorities. They broke her arm and put her on a plane to Turkey. And she’s in a medical clinic there now with a fractured arm and a torn ligament. And I’ve been on the line with the New York Times and CNN and everyone under the sun for the last several hours.
“There is a group of about 100 women from nine different countries who are traveling to, and all converging on, Cairo, Egypt over the next couple days, in order to try to pass through the Rafa border and go into Gaza, at the behest of a call put out by Gaza women to join them for International Women’s Day on March 8th.
“So Medea flew in to Cairo on the night of March 3rd. And upon her arrival in the airport, the Egyptian border police stopped her, questioned her for hours, and refused her entry. And they put her in a holding cell for the night, where she was with several other women who were unrelated to the trip. Medea had access to a phone, so she was actually tweeting out pictures and messages. And for your listeners, they can look at Medea’s twitter feed and twitter handles at @medeabenjamin.
“After a long night in this cell they came to get her in the morning. This is at the airport detention center. And several men picked her up, threw her on the ground, stomped on her back, and ripped her arm out of her shoulder, giving her a fractured arm and a torn ligament.
“Then they hauled her off onto a plane to Turkey, where the men who had beat her up sat on either side of her. Medea was wailing in pain the whole time. The rest of the passengers on the plane demanded that the crew give her medical assistance, because everyone was so worried about her.
“A man on the plane who just happened to be a doctor popped her shoulder back into place and gave her a pain shot. And so now she’s in a medical center in Turkey overnight until her flight back to the United States tomorrow.
“The delegation going to Gaza is still going as scheduled. And we hope that the Egyptian government will be a little bit more benevolent with that group. And that includes sixteen Americans from the Code Pink contingent.
“We’re not sure if the delegation’s going to actually make it into Gaza. One of the points of the trip is to highlight how tightly controlled that border actually is, and how it’s virtually impossible for the Palestinian people to move in and out of Gaza. There are about two million people in Gaza, and they’re essentially trapped there.
“So the point of the delegation is to raise awareness about that situation, and also to stand in solidarity with the women of Gaza, whom they’ll be meeting with, to let them know, and to let the world know, that the international community has not forgotten about them. So while they’re there they hope to have lots of meetings and demonstrations with women’s groups.”
Did the Egyptians offer any kind of explanation for detaining and brutalizing Medea?
“No, they didn’t. Medea has been to Egypt before. She does have lots of connections and friends there – human rights activists and advocates. And so we’re not sure. It’s a different government and…I don’t know, they’re handling things totally differently. And we weren’t sure what to expect. But this is beyond anything we imagine could have happened.”